Actuarial Report of the Québec Pension Plan as at 31 December 2009

The actuarial report gives an idea of how healthy the Québec Pension Plan is. It informs the government, contributors and beneficiaries of the Plan's financial progress, thereby making it possible to revise, if necessary, the plan's funding or some of its provisions. The Régie des rentes du Québec has produced its most recent actuarial report, based on the data available as at 31 December 2009.

Why produce an actuarial analysis?

Under the Act respecting the Québec Pension Plan, since 1998, an actuarial valuation of the Plan must be carried out at least once every 3 years. The analysis is made up of the following elements:

  • a projection of the revenue (contributions and investment income) and expenditures (benefits and administration costs);
  • long-term changes in the reserve.

Based on the methodology and the demographic and economic assumptions made, the 50-year projection contained in the report allows us to:

  • project the reserve based on the contribution rate established by the Act, that is, 9,9%;
  • estimate the contribution rate required to ensure stable funding of the Plan over the long term.

Results of the actuarial report

  • The report as at 31 December 2009 indicates that the 9,9% contribution rate is sufficient to pay future benfits until 2039.
  • The 9,9% contribution rate will not ensure stable funding of the Plan over the long term.
  • If no change to contributions is made, future generations will be required to assume a contribution rate of more than 12% as of 2039.
  • The financial pressure on the Plan has therefore increased since the last actuarial report, since the steady-state contribution rate has risen from 10,54% to 11,02%.

Actuarial assumptions and highlights of the report


  • Québec's population will increase from 7,9 million in 2010 to 9,0 million in 2040. It will be relatively stable thereafter.
  • Life expectancy for men 65 years of age will rise from 18,5 years in 2010 to 21,8 years in 2060; for women, it will increase from 21,6 to 24,2 years.


  • The number of contributors will increase from 3,9 million in 2010 to nearly 4,3 million in 2037. It will be relatively stable thereafter.
  • Total contributions will increase from 10,4 billion $ in 2010 to 12,3 billion $ in 2020 (expressed in 2010 constant dollars). Thereafter, they will increase according to actual wage growth, reaching 20,9 billion $ in 2060.


  • The number of retirement pension beneficiaries (1,4 million in 2010) will double between now and 2050.
  • In 2010, there are 3 contributors for each retirement pension beneficiary. As of 2021, there will be less than 2 contributors for each beneficiary.
  • Total benefits, including survivors' and disability benefits, will rise from 10,1 billion $ in 2010 to 17,6 billion $ in 2030 and 26,4 billion $ in 2060 (expressed in 2010 constant dollars).


  • The Plan's reserve as at 31 December 2009 is 31,6 billion $, that is, 3,0 times the cash outflows in 2010.
  • Contributions are greater than cash outflows between 2010 and 2012, which will increase the reserve.
  • Investment income will be used to bridge the gap between contributions and cash outflows from 2013 to 2023.
  • As of 2024, the investment income added to contributions becomes insufficient to fund cash outflows; therefore, the reserve begins to gradually decline. It will be fully depleted in 2039.

Monitoring plan funding

First indicator:

The ratio of the reserve at the end of one year to the cash outflows at the end of the following year serves to measure the relative size of the reserve. It indicates whether the Plan's funds are sufficient, based on a contribution rate of 9,9%.

Second indicator:

The steady-state contribution rate is used to determined the Plan's long-term funding stability. This indicator is the contribution rate for future years that would be required to maintain a constant ratio of the reserve to annual cash outflows.

  • The steady-state contribution rate is 11,02%, a difference of 1,12 percentage points compared to the 9,9% that is prescribed in the Act.
  • The steady-state contribution rate of 11,02% is higher than the 10,54% calculated in the 2006 actuarial report. The difference is attributed mainly to a more rapid increase in the life expectancy of beneficiaries, slower increases in the salaries on which contributions are made and lower returns on investments than anticipated.

The graph below shows the change in the reserve over the projection period, based on a contribution rate of 9,9% and the steady-state contribution rate of 11,02%.

Changes in the ratio of the reserve at the end of one year to the cash outflows at the end of the following year

Changes in the ratio of the reserve at the end of one year to the cash outflows at the end of the following year

For everything you need to know...

Consult the report

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